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Artists Jacques Lipchitz
Jacques Lipchitz Photo

Jacques Lipchitz

Sculptor

Movement: Cubism

Born: August 22, 1891 - Druskininkai, Lithuania

Died: May 16, 1973 - Capri, Italy

Jacques Lipchitz Timeline

Quotes

"Abstraction was never enough for me."
Jacques Lipchitz
"All my life as an artist I have asked myself: What pushes me continually to make sculpture? I have found the answer. art is an action against death. It is a denial of death."
Jacques Lipchitz
"I also found so-called great art too pompous, too stiff. What at this time was called minor art was freer, more imaginative, more open to all kinds of unorthodox expression, all kinds of daring in the handling of materials."
Jacques Lipchitz
"For me sculpture is divinity. This is the only answer that I could find for myself. Art is man's distinctly human way of fighting death. Through art, man achieves immortality and in this immortality we find God."
Jacques Lipchitz
"Cubism is not a formula, it is not a school. Cubism is a philosophy, a point of view in the universe. It is like standing at a certain point on a mountain and looking around. If you go higher, things will look different; if you go lower, again they will look different."
Jacques Lipchitz

"Copy nature and you infringe on the work of our Lord. Interpret nature and you are an artist."

Jacques Lipchitz Signature

Synopsis

Lithuanian and Jewish, the refugee artist Jacques Lipchitz arrived in Paris at precisely the right time: when the early-20th-century European avant-garde was shaking up the art world and Cubism was born. When we think of Cubist sculpture, the works of Lipchitz emerge as exemplars of the style translated into three dimensions. Later, the second time Lipchitz fled for his life at the beginning of WWII, he left behind a less abstract style and, in a major career-changing transformation, began producing larger-scale sculptures in bronze. Later still, the work of the ever-dynamic Lipchitz had become increasingly emotionally expressive, often incorporating themes from Judaism. At the end of his long lifetime and multinational trek, Lipchitz may be regarded as one of the foremost contributors to the Cubist style and to modern sculpture.

Key Ideas

Lipchitz and fellow sculptor, Alexander Archipenko, succeeded where Cubist painters had achieved only moderate success - he transformed Cubist themes into sculptural works that display a sense of refinement and cohesion. Of the two artists, the works of Lipchitz were less abstract and rarely incorporated bright colors.
The works that Lipchitz referred to as "transparents" were given that name because they were pierced by abundant negative space. Basically, you could see right through them, or through parts of them. He used this strategy to promote the sculptures' interaction with their surroundings. They were frequently displayed outdoors, so the landscape became an important component of a work.
Lipchitz early, classical training and adept draftsmanship are evident in the emotionally charged, large bronze pieces he began producing later in his career. Themes deriving from Biblical tales and Greek mythology called for a more curvilinear and naturalistic style. Sweeping lines and variations in depth belie the influence of Cubism but the large, dramatic pieces that are made even more powerful by nature of their size as if to evoke the magnitude of the horrors of World War II.

Biography

Jacques Lipchitz Photo

Childhood

Jacques Lipchitz was born Chaim Jacob Lipschitz to a Jewish family in Druskininkai, a small town in the former Russian empire (modern-day Lithuania). His father, Abraham Lipchitz, a building contractor, was rarely home, leaving the rearing of Lipchitz largely to his mother Rachel. In keeping with his father's wishes, Lipchitz began studying engineering. It was thanks to his mother's encouragement, however, that the young Lipchitz at age 17 gave up engineering and moved to Paris in 1908. Although his father was disappointed, Lipchitz later said that "after I went to Paris, my father forgave me and as long as he was able to, he contributed to my support."

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Jacques Lipchitz Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Jacques Lipchitz
Interactive chart with Jacques Lipchitz's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso
Alexander ArchipenkoAlexander Archipenko
Juan GrisJuan Gris
Diego RiveraDiego Rivera

Personal Contacts

Amedeo ModiglianiAmedeo Modigliani
Juan GrisJuan Gris

Movements

CubismCubism

Influences on Artist
Jacques Lipchitz
Jacques Lipchitz
Years Worked: 1910s - 1960s
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Henri LaurensHenri Laurens
Umberto BoccioniUmberto Boccioni

Personal Contacts

Movements

Modern SculptureModern Sculpture
CubismCubism

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Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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